A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund book review

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund book review

Reluctant Bride (The Bride Ships): Jody Hedlund: 9780764232954 ...

This has been my first Jody Hedlund book and I must say I’m very, very satisfied.

To be honest I didn’t know what to expect from this book…a cheesy mail bride kind of story or a cliche enemy to lovers one 😂 . Thankfully I was wrong! This book mixes history and fiction in such a cool way, I was pleasantly surprised.

I like Jody’s tone of voice, it is not quirky but very ”serious” and raw, and it suits the story beautifully. I have read many Christian historical fiction books that kind of sweeten the harsh reality of, for example, the slums or workhouses, yet in this book, the author presents the facts and truth about what it was like living in those harsh situations. Jody tells the horrible conditions and lifestyles of those unfortunate people very well, in my opinion. There is mention of prostitution, rape, harsh living conditions, etc. and we could say it is somewhat descriptive? I wouldn’t have it any other way though because it sets the tone of voice for the book quite well.

Yet this book is not an angsty book filled with pain. No, this book is about hope and love, and truth. It is about rising above what the world expects from you and choosing to fight.  It’s a story of sacrifice and mercy.

Speaking of mercy, I absolutely loved the MC of the book, Mercy. She was such a beautiful soul, kind, and selfless. It was sad to see how people treated her because she was ”inferior” to them, but then, all those situations made her stronger in strength and character.

My favorite thing about this book was when they were sailing on the boat to America. Ahh, I loved reading about how life was for all the brides to be confined to a boat for four months and what they did to pass time, etc. It was such a complicated situation but one the author explains in the author notes behind the book, it was a very much real one.

I really enjoyed this book and will be reading the next books in the series :)))

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Book blurb:

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?


Cleanness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 (semi descriptive kisses, mention of rape, prostitution, and harsh living conditions)

Plot: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5

Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

About the author

No 15

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.



*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All the above-mentioned thoughts are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher.*


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